transgressions of His will, nevertheless it is possible that one transgression should be greater and worse than another. The degree of guilt, however, is dependent not merely upon its outward description and its injurious results, but upon the purpose and object with which man committed the sin. Therefore man cannot properly and completely know and recognize the greatness, power and limit of sin. Only the almighty and all-knowing God can do that. Hence it is impossible that certain specified acts should be rightly divided into great and little sins, as it is the custom of some theologians to divide them; for this erroneous idea arises from their not being aware of the inward nature of sin. It is possible that one and the same sinful act may be done by two different persons, and yet a greater amount of guilt may rest upon one than upon the other. For instance: one man has purposely committed a murder, and another has killed a person, without any intention of doing so, while in a passion. One person has stolen through covetousness and ill-will, another through poverty and distress. One man has committed adultery through sudden temptation and opportunity, while another has striven to find an opportunity and has committed the sin with premeditation. In these cases, though each of the two has been guilty of one and the same evil deed, yet the sin of the one is worse and greater than that of the other. Thus inward sin, which most men consider trifling, at times is in


God's sight greater and worse than even outward sin. For example, a person has ever cherished in his heart the desire of committing impurity, but through fear and inability and lack of opportunity has never ventured or been able to commit that sin. But another person, who has not had such a vile and evil desire in his heart, has committed adultery through falling unawares into temptation. It is evident that, though the former person has not outwardly been guilty of this sin, yet in the sight of God who knows men's hearts his offence is greater than that of the latter.

Besides this, there are many deeds which are outwardly in accordance with God's commandments, but which, on account of the evil thought, purpose and intention with which they are done, are wicked and hateful in the sight of the holy God. For example, a person, perhaps, says his prayers or gives alms or performs some other deed which outwardly appears good and commendable, but does it with the object and intention that people seeing it may call him devout and honour him as such, or in order that he may in this way gain for himself some worldly advantage. Under such circumstances all such acts are hateful and unacceptable in the sight of God who knows what is secret. And, though, in men's opinion, such a person is to be considered devout and pious and self-denying, and gains a reputation as such, yet on the resurrection day, when the secrets of all shall be made